Gun violence in America's third-largest city claimed another 10 lives over the weekend, with another 51 injured. The weekend tally is measured by shootings that start Friday night and end early Monday morning.
Among the six injured victims were teenagers celebrating a graduation party outdoors. A Chicago police department spokesman called them a "completely innocent" group of people who were attacked in a drive-by shooting, with no known motive.
But it was not even the worst outbreak of weekend gun violence so far in 2021. Seventy seven people were shot over a weekend in late June and 101 people were shot over the three-day July 4th holiday weekend.
At a Monday morning news conference, an angry Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown pointed the finger at people who are helping criminals drive the flow of illegal guns through the city. To that end, the city of Chicago recently announced a fund of one million dollars to be paid out to people who come forward with information on illegal guns that leads to an arrest.
"The criminal has figured out a way to buy guns with third parties that defeat the background checks," Brown said. He gave the example of criminals with felony convictions who cannot legally buy guns themselves, but who enlist girlfriends to buy guns for them. Chicago tightly regulates gun sales, but guns typically flow through the city from neighboring states with less stringent gun laws.
The new fund, Brown said, is an incentive "to give these people up"
Brown boasted that year after year, Chicago police confiscate more illegal guns than New York and Los Angeles combined, "but that's after the guns have already made it to our streets."
The purchase of guns by third parties, Brown said, represents "blood money. And we're coming for you, to charge you. We are going to be relentless."